‘Tis the season…

October 26, 2011 § 5 Comments

Guest post by Laura Mettler.

…for the juxtaposition of my two least favorite colors. To my eye, black and orange look and feel like an alarming death warmed over, then burnt to a crisp, and somehow still slightly, well, fuzzy. They conjure such terrifying visions as construction signs, blaze orange hunting gear, 90’s orange flames on black background, and large, fake tarantulas.

It is also the time when my least favorite genre of films and stories spike in popularity. Horror/gore? No stank you!

That being said (and meant!), I must confess that I do love a good murder mystery. My all-time favorite stories are those with eccentric and brilliant crime-solving heroes. Two fictional characters stand head and shoulders above the rest:  Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown.

1. Sherlock Holmes

True confession: I have never read Sherlock Holmes.  I tried, briefly, in some remote corner of a library I can’t place, and failed.  Ah, well.  Fortunately, we have at least three devilishly attractive and stunningly portrayed guides to the mind of Sherlock (with an apologetic shoulder-shrug to Robert Downey, Jr.):

a. Basil Rathbone.

Never really seen his stuff, but I guess he’s okay. Most people love him and think he’s the best. He has some WWII versions of Sherlock, which I couldn’t get into.

b. Jeremy Brett.

My personal favorite in terms of flamboyant and endearing mannerisms. I recommend starting with this old episode on youtube:

c. This guy.

I just watched season one of SHERLOCK (all of three episodes) this week courtesy of the local library system. It makes solving crime with a sociopath fun again, in a thoroughly modern way. And hey! Dr. Watson moonlights as THE Hobbit.

I have found my new celebrity crush.

2. Father Brown.

I could go on and on.  About how my brother and sister-in-law introduced me to this fellow. About how his stories were written by G. K. Chesterton, who is rather a hero of mine. About how my friend and fellow seminarian Richard got an extra copy of his complete collected stories for me out of the blue. About how I often read them out loud with my roommate (a process which takes around a half an hour or 45 minutes, roughly the length of a television show). About the dumpy little priest himself: his secret, his scandal, his resurrection, his shapeless hat and disheveled umbrella. About how I refuse to watch the television series.

About how the heart strips down dirty and is offered a good wash during the read. But I’ll end here.

Which is just to say, if I have a hankering for justice (with a slightly disparaging nod to the human condition), I watch Sherlock. If I need a good dose of true horror and hope thrown in the mix, I commend my soul to the wise and homely ministrations of Father Brown.


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